When people learn that we live aboard year round in Maine .. yada yada yada .. there are predictable questions. This time of year the most frequently asked question is ... "How do you keep warm?" or some variation thereof.
The answer is very well, thank you.
Oops -- before I go any farther let me say that we paid for our heating system -- bought it long before blogging was in my vocabulary. EW does the normal maintenace and we hire someone and pay for parts when we have more advanced issues. The company who made our system had an issue a number of years ago and our unit was one of those that got too hot. They corrected it for us as they did for all others who had the same problem. We are customers and I have not been paid to endorse the product.
May I continue? Thank you.
Before I knew that living aboard was probable or even possible for us, EW had been aware of the Hurricane Heating Systems. He'd seen them on display at a boat show and was intrigued. I was oblivious. He had brought home material.
Fast forward a few months. On Saturday, January 19, 2002, we fall for La Luna and make an appointment with a real estate agent to sell our house. On Sunday, we spend a LOT of time talking about this momentous move and where we would dock the boat. So we hop in the car and drive to the area marinas. We don't see anyone on the docks to talk to except at one marina where there are only two boats in slips. (Turns out that marina had stopped allowing liveaboards. The boats belonged to two folks who owned condominiums on the property.) One of those boat owners was on board ... wait for it ... drum roll ... installing a Hurricane Heating System. Really. The whole move aboard was full of those serendipitous moments.
So we met Mike, who was the area's unofficial ambassador of Hurricane Heaters. He invited us back on Monday evening to bask in the warmth and discuss living aboard -- something he and his wife had done .. year round .. in Maine.
Fast forward 9 months to September 2002. We were now in a slip in South Portland -- at the marina Mike recommended. We had neighbors -- many with Hurricane Heaters -- and it was time to purchase and install ours. EW and Mike were going to handle most or all of the installation. I was going to offer opinions, stay out of the way -- but be on hand for snaking. (I hate real snakes but am a whiz at sending one of those metal ones through holes. It's a talent and I have it.)
First, we had to plan the heating system. Well, first EW had to plan the heating system -- but I helped. My big contribution occurred when I was listening as Mike and EW were talking. I'm not a mechanical genius but I did get the gist of what was being decided as they were discussing thermostats. "So how many of these thermostat things can we have?" I asked. MIke glanced at EW and said, "Um, how many do you want?"
"Four," I said.
Mike looked stunned, but EW only rolled his eyes and smiled (He is used to me.)and asked, "Where would you put four thermostats?"
"One in the master stateroom, one in the main saloon, one in the forward (guest) cabin, and one in the master head."
And that is how I became known as a "High Maintenance" live-aboard wife. I don't care. I'm warm.
More on the actual units -- now made and sold by ITR - International Thermal Research - in a later post. It is Friday and nearing 5:00 PM or 1700 hours and time to make the pizza.